The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

George Antuna Lovefest Continues

Ken Rodriguez continues the Express-News lovefest with George Antuna, this time comparing him to Elvira Reyna in a 'woe-is-she' column:

There is no Texas lawmaker like Rep. Elvira Reyna.

What sets her apart is not that she picked cotton as a 5-year-old in Harlingen. It's not that she spoke only Spanish when she started first grade. It's not that she earned her college degree at age 30.

No, what makes Reyna unique is ethnicity and party affiliation.

Among the 181 members in the Texas Legislature, she is the only Hispanic Republican.


George Antuna knows the pain. Another candidate for House District 118, Antuna has long been mocked. He's often called a "vendido." Someone who sold out.

Antuna shakes his head. "Hoy es el dia del cambio," he says.

Today is the day of change.

Perhaps it is.

No Republican has ever represented House District 118. Antuna could be the first.

He does not have the name ID of another GOP candidate — Steve Salyer, who lost in the 2004 general election.

But Antuna does have strong Republican backing. And he's got a nice résumé.

One line, in particular, stands out: "Regional Director for the Office of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison."

District 118, to be sure, remains Democratic. So a victory in March does not guarantee success in November.

Still, the district's expanding northern boundaries give him hope. And so does this: President Bush carried 118 in 2004.

Maybe the reason Latinos call people like Reyna and Antuan vendidos is because they do stupid, sell-out stuff like support HB 2292.

Everyone seems to be downplaying how hard it is going to be for Antuna to get out of the Republican primary. Antuna's going to have a tough time lure any other voters in the southern portion of the district to vote in the Republican primary, what with all the Dem primary action going on over there. Which is going to leave him fighting for votes in the northern, whiter area of HD-118. And if there's a run-off between Sayler and Antuna, and I think there will be, with virtually no other Republican run-off possibility out there, Antuna's going to be in an even tougher position of persuading staunch Republican loyalists or motivating non-traditional primary voters to go to the polls for him.